is a Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds
fanfiction written by Cyber Commander and the 1st fic of the Shadowchasers
Taking place simultaneously with the events of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds
, Ember (real name Eiko Michiko) is a young secretary whom suddenly finds herself attacked by an ophidia. Yet before she is killed, a man named Shichiro comes to her aid and challenges the ophidia to a duel. After winning, the man takes Ember to a restaurant and explains what happened: all the creatures and things that are of myth and legend are real. These are called Shadows, and they are hidden by a veil that most humans, or Mundane, cannot see past. Thus, in order to protect the humans, the Shadowchasers were created and led by Jalal Stormbringer as a sort of police force to enforce the Great Treaty. That's where dueling comes into play: whenever a Shadow and a Shadowchaser get into a disagreement, the resulting conflict must be fair. Since Ember obviously has the gift of being able to see Shadows, Shichiro invites her to join the Shadowchasers.
This fic features the following tropes:
- Anti-Villain: Anthony Draco, Ember's former employer, is Type II. He is a githyanki and now the CEO of a very large company who has been on Earth for several centuries. He is an ally of DePen, but only because Sonja is blackmailing him. He expresses regret at having to hold Ember hostage initially, and his final act before he apparently dies is open a portal that helps her escape from place where the duel with Sonja had occurred, which is about to sink into the ocean.
- Asshole Victims: Prior her attempt on Earth, Sonja had drowned at least five worlds whose inhabitants were less than pleasant.
- Badass in Distress: This happens to Jinx and Gears after they both tried to (and failed) to stop DaPen.
- Bad-Guy Bar: Ember goes to an ophidia hangout called The Den to look for Hebi-Na; unfortunately, Hebi-Na finds her first. (The story mentions that there are a lot of places like this that have specific species as clientele.)
- Be Careful What You Wish For: A positive example. When Ember was still Draco's secretary, she light-heartedly wishes that her life could be a lot more interesting, moments before she is almost killed by Hebi-Na. Then after Shichiro tells her about the Shdaowchasers and about the world behind the veil, she feels nervous at first until it turns into feelings of excitement.
- Big Bad: Louis DaPen, an illithid crime boss of Neo Domino.
- Bigger Bad: [[spoiler:Sonja ultimately answers to the Light of Ruin, who had demanded her mother accept Jamor's challenge in the first place. As Ember guesses, the Earth's destruction suits a being like this just fine.
- Break the Haughty: Happens to Edmund in a big way after Ember defeats him in a duel (standard case of the overconfident villain being bested by someone he didn't think was worthy; they never learn).
- Up to Eleven when he loses to Ember a second time. To the same monster that defeated him last time.
- Cameo: A few cannon Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds characters appear in this fic. Takahasu, Mukuro Enjo, Shira, Professor Frank, and Jill de Lancebeaux all appear as minor antagonists, while Crow appears as an ally; Jeagar and Divine both make brief appearances. Rally appears, "uncredited", in a brief scene, and Yusei Fudo himself appears in the epilogue.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Red Feather, a character who is mentioned in a Shadowchaser file at the end of one of the chapters later on makes an appearance as a major supporting character in Shadowchasers: Ascension.
- Chekhov's Lecture: At some point in the fic, Ember learns that trolls are afraid of fire. Later on she uses this knowledge to scare away some trolls using a hologram of Infernal Flame Emperor when she and Shichiro both go to Satellite.
- Cherry Tapping: Ember's fourth and final test as an apprentice requires her to defeat her opponent by reducing his/her Life Points to exactly 0. Fortunately she manages to do so, courtesy of Blue Flame Swordsman's effect.
- The Commissioner Gordon: Jeagar fills this role for the Neo-Domino Shadowchasers (and Shichiro clearly does NOT like working with him).
- Crazy-Prepared: Anthony Draco. He keeps a database on his laptop (that can only be accessed with a code) with extensive files on every resident of Neo Domino that might be a threat to him, in degrees of potential severity. Included are the Neo Domino Shadowchasers, the Signers, the current Dark Signers, and even Rex Godwin (despite the fact that the chapter where this is revealed occurs at a time when most people do not believe Godwin has any uncouth intentions, AND the fact that Draco's company is collaborating with Godwin in at least one project.)
- In one of their duels, Edmund uses an anti-machine deck to counter Gears knowing that Gears would be expecting his Worm Deck.
- Dirty Coward: Zargon, the reeve who was responsible for killing Jamor Stormbrigner as he had attacked him at night while his guard was down.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: The Regalia of Day, three swords resembling Dawn, Noon, and Midnight, and the Silver Hemisphere, which acts as a "display stand" for the swords. When all four pieces are together, they amplify spellcasting power to incredible levels.
- Distressed Damsel: Mistle gets brainwashed by DaPen into dueling Gears early on in the fic. Later on Ember gets taken hostage by Draco due to his partner's orders.
- The Don: Louis DaPen; despite the fact that he operates in Japan, he resembles a Western mobster and really cannot be considered a Yakuza.
- The Dragon: Edmund Mason is this for DaPen, but he is more loyal to Sonja.
- Eldritch Abomination: It is revealed that Sonja ultimately answers to the Light of Ruin.
- Embarrassing First Name: Gears HATES his first name "Maurice" that not even Jalal uses it. Later on in Power Primordial, he reveals it to a duelist who also has an embarrassing name in order to make him feel better.
- Evil Versus Evil: DaPen and Divine clearly hate each other; apparently, this is because DaPen's Psychic Powers are far superior to Divine's, and DaPen is a better duelist. (Any fan of the anime who knows the type of person Divine is can see why that would be a blow to his pride.)
- The Gambler: Jinx plays a deck like that is much like this. In her last duel in the fic, however, when she risks literally being erased if she loses all her tosses seem to fail, she prays for the most vital toss to succeed, promising never to depend on luck again if it does. She makes the toss, and keeps the promise, relying solely on X-Sabers in the sequel.
- Genius Slob: In effect, Ember has to learn how to become one as far as dueling strategy goes for her second test (called "Heavy Slump") where her deck has to have the maximum number of cards, sixty (normally a in incredibly bad deck-build that most sane players would avoid). Some inspiration from Crow after the duel that DaPen arranged gives her an idea how to make one that works, focusing almost entirely on cards that search out copies of themselves, and then use powerful ones that require a large Graveyard, like Shadow Ghoul and Chaos Necromancer; she passes with flying colors.
- Go-Go Enslavement: An unintentional example happens to Ember after she is taken prisoner by Draco. When Jalal and the rest of the Neo Domino Shadowchasers confront Draco and try to rescue Ember, they find out that Draco bound her to a lamp that forces her to obey him. To top it all off, the lamp forces her to wear a revealing harem girl's outfit. (Draco insisted that he did it because he didn't want to resort to tying her up, and did NOT know the lamp would change her clothes.) Jinx even makes a snide remark that she'd rather be tied up than wear something like that.
- Good Guy Bar: Giorgio's resturant, which is where Shichiro takes Ember to in order to explain to her everything about Shadowkind and the Shadowchasers after her Aware powers had awakened.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: If Gloria is any indication, they really aren't ugly at all (so long as you can look past the snakes for hair).
- Grand Theft Me: Edmund attempts this on Ember after he is reduced to just a soul inhabiting a Magic Jar. Unfortunately for him, Flamvell Urquizas destroys his Magic Jar killing him permanently.
- The Great Flood: Referenced by Jinx after details of the Evil Plan to unleash the Deluge are revealed:
Jinx: This is crazy. In Genesis, after the Great Flood, God promised Noah that He would never flood the world again.
Jalal: True, the Almighty said that He would never again flood the world. But apparently, now a devil is trying to do it. And since no-one warned anyone beforehand like He did back then, we have to stop it.
- Green Thumb: Mistle who runs a greenhouse and uses a Plant Deck.
- Identical Stranger: Ember looks exactly like the monster card "Rose, Warrior of Revenge". Shichiro eventually gives her the card and he and a few others comment on the resemblance.
- Interspecies Romance: Gears' girlfriend is Mistle, a wood nymph.
- Kill It with Water: Sonja had already flooded about five worlds with the Deluge prior to the fic, and was about to do the same to Earth.
- Killed Off for Real: Several of the conspirators are murdered over the course of the story; Maccal is killed by DaPen to keep him from talking, DaPen is killed by Sonja when she doesn't need him anymore, Edmund perishes when all the worms making up his body go up in flames, and is then eradicated when his magic jar is destroyed in his duel with Ember. Draco's body dies when Sonja uses him as a sacrifice for the Deluge, and what's left of him appears to perish when he makes a Heroic Sacrifice to help Ember return to Neo Domino.
- Irony: Although Edmund is mostly Gears' arch-nemesis, he meets his end at the hands of Ember instead. Although his Worm Deck survives, which meets its end (used by another duelist) to Gears in Power Primordial.
- Lawful Stupid: Obligatum XXV, a platonic, one of a race of sentient mechanical beings who enforce the fundamental laws of the universe. Based wholly on a villain mentioned in the Elder Evils sourcebook, it determines that the Dark Signers must be aided in freeing the Earthbound Gods, because their original summoners broke the contract that was made with them. It fails to realize the great danger that its actions would cause, and also does not realize that its view has been cause by a the lingering evil aura caused by the actual Earthbound Gods, which have caused it to become a misguided platonic (an incredibly dangerous thing, according to Gears).
- Light Is Not Good: Edmund's Worm Deck. Also, at the end of the fic, Sonja uses Andro Sphinx and Sphinx Telia, representations of her parents.
- Losing Your Head: The Neo Domino Shadowchasers' housekeeper, Boris; he's a skull, who can levitate gloves and use them like hands. They really aren't sure who or what he is, but he seems harmless, and they don't dwell on it.
- Made of Iron: Ember seems to qualify. In her Shadow Duel with Edmund, in which she took a 6,500-point direct attack from his Worm Victory, and survived. When Edmund asked how that could be possible, she had no idea, but sarcastically said, “Maybe you just stink at creating Shadow Duels.” Later, she takes a direct attack from Sonja's Theinen the Great Sphinx and survives.
- Magical Seventh Son: Shichiro, who has six older brothers and his father also has six older brothers. He attributes this to be the reason he is an Aware.
- Making a Splash: Sonja is a sorceress who specializes in water-based spells and wants to cast the Deluge but does not run a Water Deck.
- The Man Behind the Man: Sonja, the spawn of Athentia, who now seeks revenge against Jalal.
- The Mentor: Jinx, to Ember.
- Mirror Match: Jinx's first duel with the boggart that's taking her appearance uses a Gamble Deck similar to hers.
- Ember's third test as an apprentice requires her to duel someone with a similar deck theme as hers and to defeat her opponent's ace monster with her own. She does so against Mukuro Enjo.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: During Gears' duel with Jill, he manages to destroys Jill's "Golden Castle of Stromberg", which only ends up triggering the second curse that Edmund placed which possesses Jill. When it happens, he actually says to himself that he should've just finished Jill off when he had the chance so that the second curse wouldn't have been triggered. He still wins in the end though.
- No Name Given: Louis DePen actually has no name, because members of his species identify each other by psychic imprint.
- Miles Gloriosus: Zargon, the hired killed that killed Jalal's father. Jalal spent his whole life dreading and hating this killer, assuming he was some master assassin; as it turned out, he was really a Dirty Coward who belonged to an entire race who many would have called Too Dumb to Live, but were cursed to live forever because of a Deal with the Devil that made them into a Slave Race. When Jalal finally confronts the creature, he finds him beneath contempt.
- Old Shame: In-Universe example with Shichiro. He shows regrets on pursuing an unauthorized project that would attempt to make a Sensitive into an Aware, because it led to a fallout with his old apprentice Yusei Fudo and blames himself for the tragic events that happened to Yusei and the rest of Team Satisfaction. Eventually, he realizes that it wasn't his fault and even makes peace with Yusei at the end of the fic.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Near the start of the fic, Gears duels a brainwashed Mistle who calls him Maurice during the duel, this only confirms to Gears that Mistle really is brainwashed because she would not call him that even in their worst arguments.
- Please Keep Your Hat On: When Edmund confronts Shichiro for the first time, there's a Black Comedy example of this. Edmund shows him, Mistle, Jinx, and Ember what's under his mask, causing the three ladies to scream, and the following dialogue.
Shichiro: Put… the mask back on…
Edmund: Don’t you start ordering me around, Mr. Osaka!
Shichiro: Please put the mask back on?
- Playing with Fire: Ember runs a Flamvell/FIRE Beatdown deck. Other examples in this fic include Misuga Yoichi, Mukuro Enjo and Maccal's Jurrac deck.
- Psychic Powers: Louis DePen. Actually, this trait is quite common among his species. Appropriately, he uses a Psychic deck.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Edmund. he became a Ur-Priest to get revenge, refusing to believe what happened to his lover (she was killed when her car was struck by a falling meteor) was an accident.
- Ur-Priests in general tend to have these. Jalal gives a lengthy story of their origins, at least the ones on Earth.
- Reluctant Hero: Ember, the protagonist and narrator. She becomes a member of the team because she realizes that, now that she can see Shadows, she'll never be safe if she goes it alone. (In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons that most Shadowchasers join the team.)
- Rescue Arc: Jalal and the rest of the Neo Domino Shadowchasers rescuing Ember from Anthony Draco.
- Rite of Passage: This is Ember's goal throughout most of the story, passing four tests to qualify for initiation into the Shadowchasers proper. She quickly gains confidence and becomes more skilled as she does so.
- Royal Harem: There aren't any scenes with one in-story, but Xvartnar talks about the time he filled in for his brother for a week, who has the job of guarding Sultan Yasuf Alrahad’s harem, and says it's a much worse job than his regular one. (Claiming the harem girls "complain about everything". Of course, given Xvartnar's attitude, it's hard to take his word on it.)
- Sexy Secretary: Ember during her time as Draco's secretary, although she qualifies more a "pretty" rather than "sexy".
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Gears repeatedly denies that Mistle is his girlfriend. Of course, none of teammates (and Jalal) believe him.
- Shout-Out: Aside from the obvious references to Dungeons & Dragons and Cthulhu Mythos there are a few.
- A reference to J. K. Rowling is made in the original fic. Apparently, she has very few fans among Shadowkind due to "misconceptions" she has about magic and supernatural beings. To give one example, when Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released, the Shadowchasers got dozens of letters from pixies who lived in Cornwall claiming that they had been slandered. One thing that Rowling did get right: the tears of a phoenix can heal wounds. Shichiro explains to Ember that Rowling was a Mundane who had no idea the supernatural was real and only had her imagination and research to work with, so she was bound to get so many details wrong.
- There was also a brief reference to J. R. R. Tolkien, where it is said that his interpretation of the enimity between elves and orcs was pretty accurate. (Except for his assumption that orcs used to be elves; in truth, both races would be disgusted at the thought that they were even slightly related.)
- After Draco's interferance sends Shichiro and Jalal to a pocket dimension, Shichiro remarks that they may have "taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque". (Jalal either doesn't "get" the joke or simply disregards it.)
- Ship Tease: Gears and Mistle have a lot of this, although Gears denies it.
- Soul Jar: The Magic Jar which necromancers can use as a last resort to preserve their souls. Edmund does this after all the worms that form his body were destroyed from his duel with Gears.
- Starter Villain: Hebi-Na is the first Shadowkind seen in the fic, and the first villain who appears. Her role in this story is relatively minor, however.
- Stone Wall: In her first test as an apprentice, Ember has to win a duel without attacking at all. (And she is not allowed to use the key cards used in the most well-known decks that don't involve attacking, such as Final Countdown and Exodia.)
- This Is Something She's Got To Do Herself: The final stage of the Ember's apprenticeship is to handle a Shadow-related threat with no help from another Shadowchaser; most apprentices choose something easy for this part; Ember is a little more ambitious, choosing to apprehend the fugitive Hebi-Na herself; and she succeeds.
- Of course, it's obvious where she got such inspiration. Jinx did something just as dangerous when she did that stage, confront a redcap, which is a demonic, murderous, fey creature. She tells Ember this early in the story, not realizing Ember would ever think something like that is a good idea.
- Another example happens towards the end of the fic wherein she is the only one who can confront the conspirator in charge of the Deluge due to it being a high-leveled Water spell and her soul being fire.
- Sunglasses at Night: Gloria, the gorgon owner of a liquor store whom Ember gets information from. (Totally justified, because gorgons have no control over their ability to turn people to stone with their gaze.)
- Take That: Several instances throughout the story treats the line "Get your game on!" with disdain.
- Took a Level in Badass: Ember goes through this process several times throughout the fic, culminating at the end wherein she is the one who defeats Sonja and stops the Deluge.
- Threat Backfire: Almost happens. When Jinx says "Over my dead body!" to Obligatum XXV (who pretty much has No Sense of Humor) it almost takes her literally, and Gears warns her that these creatures "have a hard time understanding figures of speech".
- What the Hell, Hero?: Minor example: When Jinx she gets angry because Ember is careless and went on an unauthorized mission without her permission, Jalal mentions that he "seems to remember" another Shadowchaser who did that a lot when she was an apprentice. (He's talking about Jinx.) Jinx is not able to deny it.
- While Rome Burns: Zigzagged. The fic takes place chronologically at the same time the Dark Signer Arc of the canon series, and right after the Arcadia Building is destroyed by the Earthbound Gods, Mistle and all the Neo Domino Shadowchasers except Shichiro are watching old The Three Stooges shorts on basic cable. (And when Shichiro tells them how foolish it is, Ember says, "Not only that, it's an episode with Shemp in it." However, it quickly made apparent that they're all very frightened and are doing it to stay calm.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Gears has a fear of Alien monsters, which Edmund tried to exploit during their last duel. Although Gears gets over it eventually.
- A lesser example would be that Shichiro hates spiders.
- You Don't Want to Know: In the original, Edmund thinks that Ember is not a worthy enough opponent for him, saying that he's associated with such powerful beings as liches, incubus, and famine spirits. When Ember asks what a famine spirit is, he answers, "Better you didn't know." It isn't known whether she ever learned what it was, but the readers eventually did, when the Shadowchaser Files profiled one named Rudolph von Aubrecker.
- Zerg Rush: This is Ember's playstyle in regards to her second test as an spprentice, wherein she focuses on weak monsters that Special Summon themselves upon their destruction, thereby thinning her deck a lot quicker.